WHEN YOU HEAR THE NAME “MONSTERA,” YOU KNOW IT’S GOING TO BE BIG
The Monstera Deliciosa or Split Leaf Philodendrum has been a favorite house plant for years – and with good reason. It’s wonderfully easy going, and freshens up any indoor corner. But, think ahead. The Monstera needs space – indoors or out, and it loves to climb.
Many refer to the Monstera as the “Swiss Cheese” plant, due to its leaves’ large cut ribbons or holes. Interestingly, it’s believed leaves with large holes are more resistance to downpours or extreme weather, like hurricanes. In addition, light levels that reach down onto the floor of a tropical rainforest (its native habitat) are quite low. Leaves with ribbons have a larger surface area to better capture what little light filters down.
You usually won’t see any flowers when you keep the Monstera indoors, but if taken outdoors, it produces a beautiful flower that actually turns into a fruit. The fruits are edible and reminiscent in taste to pineapple-banana. The leaves of the plant, however, are toxic, if ingested.
Ideal for warmer and stable temperatures, the Monstera does not require a lot of water and prefers indirect light. Too much sun can scorch the plant, and cause lack of perforations in the leaves. Well-draining soil is important, too. Indoors, a damp cloth or even a little dish soap and water can be used to keep the leaves clean.